GY410      Half Unit
Economics of Local and Regional Development

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Riccardo Crescenzi CKK 4.28


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Economic Geography, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Economics and Climate Change) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.

Course content

Why do some regions and territories perform systematically better than others in terms of economic development and wealth? What are the key drivers of local and regional economic performance? How can local and regional economic development policies boost economic activity and improve socio-economic conditions in disadvantaged areas? Technological change, evolving geo-political conditions and new patterns of economic integration have challenged the 'traditional' answers to these questions and call for new analytical and policy tools. This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the economic determinants of regional and local economic development and of the policies influencing these drivers. After examining the existing disparities in regional economic performance between and within a number of advanced, emerging and developing countries, the course illustrates the scope and justification for government intervention in this area. Various theories and approaches to local and regional economic development, leading to different policy prescriptions, are analysed in order to identify different regional and local determinants of economic performance (from innovation and human capital to FDI, Global Value Chains and global connectivity). In particular, the course dwells on the regional policy of the European Union (EU) - one of the most important large-scale regional policy experiences - in order to discuss the practical pros and cons of existing policy tools and illustrate the benefits of a 'balanced' approach to the analysis, design, management and implementation of regional and local economic development policies in the context of digital and green transitions. Special attention will also be devoted to the cases of the United States, China and India in a comparative perspective.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.

This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures across Autumn Term.

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Autumn Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the AT.

Indicative reading

R Capello, Regional Economics 2nd Edition, Routledge, 2016;  R Crescenzi & O Harman O, Harnessing Global Value Chains for Regional Development, Routledge, 2023; R Crescenzi & A Rodríguez-Pose Innovation and Regional Growth in the European Union, Springer, 2011; C Jones, Introduction to Economic Growth 2nd edition, W. W. Norton & Company 2006; P McCann Urban and Regional Economics, OUP 2001; A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose & J Tomaney, Local and regional development 2nd Edition, Routledge, 2017.

A number of more specialized texts will be recommended at the beginning of the course.


Take-home assessment (100%) in the WT.

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2022/23: 53

Average class size 2022/23: 53

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills